The human brain is the most complex and fascinating part of the human body. Everything that we do starts in the brain as neurons fire, and the rest of our body reacts.
We all know the importance of physical exercise for the body, but how do you strengthen your brain? Until 2008, many scientists believed that intelligence had a cap. In other words, people could not boost their brainpower beyond their limitations.
Opinions have changed a lot since 2008. We’ve gradually learned plenty about how the brain works and what strategies can help strengthen our minds and improve our life.
Similarly, many people thought that cognitive decay directly resulted from brain cells dying as we age. Now we know that the real cause of this decay is limited neuron connections between brain cells. As you age, building new paths in your brain is the best way to stay mentally sharp and focused.
Today, we will look at several mental practices that will gradually improve the neuron connections in your brain for increased clarity, focus, and productivity.
Let’s get started!
Expand Your Vocabulary
We all want to sound smart by learning new words and using them in our everyday lives. But did you know expanding your vocabulary can actually improve your intelligence? The brain uses numerous parts when we are forming speech, reading text, or typing.
Studies suggest that learning new words is a great way to build new neuron connections because the brain is so active while we write and speak.
There are several ways you can expand your vocabulary to include robust words and phrases. For example, you could read a book and write down words that you don’t know. Later in the day, look up those words and begin using them in conversations. The new words will eventually become a part of your vocabulary.
In the process of learning new words to convey a message while impressing your friends and colleagues, you’ve effectively exercised your brain!
Try New Experiences
If you’re like most people, you have a daily routine you follow. There’s nothing wrong with having patterns in your life, as long as your mixing in new experiences. It’s equally important that you try to back away from habits that are hurting more than helping.
You have plenty of exciting options if you’re looking to do something different. You could try food from a new restaurant, start a blog, take a different route home from the store, drive along the countryside, or spend some time exploring unfamiliar parts of your city.
Our brains naturally start to build solid connections as we develop patterns. As a result, our mind doesn’t work nearly as hard to complete a task the 500th time when compared to the first several times.
You’ll want to avoid habits like spending too much time on social media. Did you know the average person spends 2 hours and 22 minutes on these platforms every single day? Imagine what new things you could encounter if you freed up an extra 2 hours daily!
When you try new things, you build new connections in your brain. By mixing these new experiences in your life, you help keep your mind sharp by forming new neural pathways.
Use Your Brain for Problem Solving, Not Technology
Our next tip relates to technology and our ability to solve problems. We’ve been handed so many shortcuts that our brains don’t work nearly as hard to solve problems. Think back and try to remember the last time you used a calculator to solve a math problem, not easy, right?
Due to these technological shortcuts, we’ve grown lazy use our phones to solve everything from common questions to simple math problems. While this tool can be handy in the right situation, it shouldn’t always be your go-to solution. If you have the time, work out the math problem for yourself next time.
Let’s be honest — this last tip requires a bit of practice. We have become hardwired to use the technology around us to get more done than ever before. But at the same time, we are not using our brains to their full potential. Much like a deteriorating muscle, the brain becomes weak after periods of inactivity.
The next time you need to solve a problem, think about whether there’s a way to get to the same result by using your brainpower. Much like the other tips we mentioned, going through these steps can help your brain build powerful connections and stays healthy.
Back to You
Now you know how to start exercising your brain. Don’t try too hard to implement all of these tips into your life at once. Think about it the same way you would physical exercise. Start slow and experiment with different techniques until you find something that works for you.